Saturday, August 11, 2012

Kindergarten, II

See this picture?

On a campus far, far away in a decade long, long ago.

I’m the one in the ever-so-striking pleated shorts, too much make up, and earrings that are large enough to pick up AM/FM radio. It’s significant, however, because that short imp in second row sent it to me via text message just a few days ago. And guess why she had it? Because our university was going to throw it away. Apparently our legacy is obsolete. We’re old. They took our picture out of the frame and probably put new “kids” in – ones that definitely are not wearing pleated shorts – and threatened to throw it away if no one claimed it.

This blow to the ego was the horse pulling the dreaded cart of a new stage in life. My Masaroni is growing up and stuff. That’s right, the littlest starts kindergarten in less than 48 hours.

Oh yeah, he's that cute.

I’ve been worrying more about how I feel about this. But then, in a quiet voice Mason asked me, “How long until I go to my new school?” There was obvious uncertainty fluttering in his eyelashes. The kind that makes a mother gasp in her heart of hearts and choose her next words very, very carefully. At the time it was a mere two sleeps. In fact, it was this afternoon and he is to report to class on Monday morning. Explaining this time period brought a silence in him that was more silent than usual.

With hesitation I asked him if he was nervous. Pregnant pause. “I don’t know,” he muttered.

“Well, you know," I started, “The Coop will be just down the hall; you can ask your teacher to go and get him.” Mason nodded, thoughtfully.

“You are going to rock kindergarten! They will love you!” I said with just a touch of desperation in my voice.

I knew I should be asking him what he was afraid of, but I also knew if I asked I would cry when I, a) admitted to myself that he was afraid, and b) heard why he was afraid. Also, I am afraid. I am afraid that if my kindergartener leaves the home campus, I’ll step even closer to the “old” that my alma matter has labeled me.

This isn’t my first kindergartener. You’d think I was an old pro at this talk. But, Coop was… I mean is a different type of student. He can’t wait for school to start. He, frankly, thought very little of the first day of school that first year, or this year. He shooed us away when we tried to take pictures and make a big deal of it. Then he walked into class. Didn’t even look back, or hug us, or cry.

Darn it.

I felt cheated that year. Wasn’t nostalgia supposed to drip off the day? Isn’t the first day of kindergarten for the first child you send the very reason Jackie-O sunglasses have never gone out of fashion? I had no running mascara to hide that day. But this year, I suspect this year will be – wetter. Crying-er. Maybe down right pathetic-er.

And Hooorah! Right?

If I missed out on something last time, should I be happy I’ll definitely get it this time? This very last time. Sigh. Nope. I think I’m wishing for some courage for the both of us. Which feels better? That your child hang onto your leg, shed some tears, and hesitate as he crosses the threshold of the classroom? Or should we all wish that our kids bound in, take a seat, and excitedly breathe in the scent of freshly sharpened pencils? I’ll report back once I’ve had a taste of both.

For now, good luck to my two favorite students. Both of you. You have each other. You will be liked at school. And you will be missed here at home. Got any suggestions what I should do with myself?


Claudia said...

Good luck Mason! And good luck to you too, Julia. Let me know when you discover the answers to your questions. I'll tuck away those tidbits of first-day wisdom/protocol for 3 years from now. Or if my first-to-schooler is like Cooper(which I fear she will be), I'll save it for 5 years for the little man.

Katlyn said...

Chase is off to Kindergarten too! We don't quite know which kind of send off he will have yet. Good luck to Mason!

Glenda said...

Mas will be a wonderful student....I love him to bits.
Reminds me of the very long ago time when my last kindergartner rushed in the front door after his first day and said, "Mom, what did you do all day long without me?"

emma nelson said...

reading this brought many memories.
Funny though how it all works out in the end. I think it's harder for Mom's than the kids..but who knows?
Wonderful that brothers love each other.256

Angenette said...

I'm sorry, did you call me an imp?